Hello people, I had moderate-severe acne for 5 years. I am making this post because I want to share the knowledge I attained and maybe hopefully help some people.
This is a long post, but I'm sure people who are suffering from acne who are seeking information will give it a read. I know I wish I knew this information when I was younger.
Things I tried
I have tried so many OTC products. From ProActiv to several other Acne creams I can't even remember... Of course, none of them worked. I also tried several antibiotics and prescription creams like Differin - Did not work either. I came to the conclusion that taking anti-biotic's, or slathering chemicals on my face wasn't going to work (or at least be the only solution).
I was so frustrated that finally common sense slapped me in the face. I thought to myself, "Why are these pimples forming?" I know I had good skin hygiene. I wash my face 2-3 time daily - It obviously wasn't that. I realized it had to be diet. There's no other explanation.
So I started researching nutrition. I then found out what really causes acne. And there isn't just one type of acne - There's seven different types of acne.
Androgenic Acne (Male hormone acne, most common)(Women can get it too)
I'll explain in more detail about each one in the future, but I'll outline what the root cause for all of them are. [Some are harder to treat than others (e.g. Liver acne).]
Acne has to be tackled in two ways: Internally (the most important aspect which is what this post is all about) and topically.
There's an intimate connection between diet and acne. Insulin affects sebum and oil secretion. If you're producing a lot of insulin, you will break out more. Drinking soda and eating candy will spike your insulin (I'm sure most people know that). But the hidden dagger is grains. Grains will spike your insulin too. That means: Bread, Rice, Oatmeal, Cereals, Bagels, etc... You're going to have to eliminate all insulin spiking foods. People with Androgenic acne will notice results almost overnight by fixing their diet.
Read how grains are slowly killing you.
Nutrients such as micro nutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) as well as macro nutrients (fats, protein, carbs) are essential for our bodies to function properly. Our human bodies are composed of ~50 trillion cells. And each one of these intricate, miraculous, tiny cells needs these nutrients constantly (10,000 cells can fit on the head of a needle). The way these cells obtain these nutrients is through the food we eat. It's kind of hard to imagine this, but we humans aren't even conscience of this whole incredible process of how cells function. Each individual cell is like a city: it has government, divine geographical limits, waste treatment plants, power plants, postal office, police force (of course that's an oversimplification, but you get the point). One little cell is more complex than the strongest microchip in the world. Every cell in the human body needs about 90 vitamins + minerals to function optimally.
Problems start to occur when these cells aren't getting the nutrients they need. Is it surprising that people are so sick with the SAD (Standard American Diet)? People are starving their bodies of the nutrition it needs. Just think about it: What do a lot of people eat for the start of the day, and what nutrients are they getting -
Cereal is one of the most popular breakfast meals:
contains very little nutrients (in fact they have to manually add them in - and even then, laughably miniscule) and the processed grains are high in empty carbs which will spike your insulin. The pasteurized dead milk people add contains a few vitamins/minerals and protein.
With that meal, you're virtually starving your body of all the other nutrients it needs. And to add to that, it has to work overtime to process the high-carb, empty calorie's from the cereal and detox the milk. Doing this kind of diet for several years and for even decades, diseases and infections will certainly manifest. Pretty much all diseases are from cell death, e.g. if you have dieing cells in the heart; it's called heart disease; Dieing cells in the bones; it's called arthritis. Nearly all disease's are preventable through proper nutrition.
Just so you get a clearer picture:
SAD Nutrients in avg breakfast: B2, B6, B12, Thiamin, Niacin, Vit A, Vit D
What you should be getting: Gallium, Germanium, Hafnium, Holmium, Neodymium, Praseodymium, Rhenium, Rubidium, Samarium, Scandium, Silica, Silver, Hydrogen, Lanthanum, Lithium, Lutetium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Strontium, Tantalum, Terbium, Thulium, Tin, Titanium, Vanadium, Ytterbium, Yttrium, Zirconium, Niobium, Boron, Bromine, Carbon, Nickel, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), VitaminB5 (Pantothenic Acid), VitaminB6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Choline, Flavonoids and Bioflavonoids, Folic Acid, Inositol, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Biotin, Valine, Lysine, Threonine, Leucine, Isoleucine, Tryptophan, Phenylalanine, Methionine, Histidine, Arginine, Taurine, Tyrosine, Omega 3 (EPA, DHA, ALA), Omega 6, Omega 9
Now, it's important to understand how the plants you eat attains its nutrients:
"Most of the produce you buy in a grocery store does not have anything close to the mineral profile it is supposed to have according to nutritional textbooks. This is because minerals are not manufactured by plants, whereas vitamins and phytonutrients are. When plants create such nutrients, they synthesize them through chemical and energetic processes that can only be called miraculous. But as capable as they are, plants do not create minerals. Minerals have to be absorbed through the soil, and if they are not present in the soil, then the plant's roots cannot take them up, and therefore they will not be present in the plant.
The nutritional and mineral profile of the plant ultimately depends on the mineral content of the soil. Since soils today are so over-farmed and depleted of all but a few basic minerals, most of our produce lacks the minerals they should contain. For example, a lot of plants absorb selenium when selenium is present in the soil. But when selenium is not present in the soil, of course it's not available to the plant. The plant gets grown and taken to the store and sold and consumed anyway, even though it doesn't have the levels of selenium that it should contain according to traditional textbooks." - naturalnews.com
So this creates a dilemma for us: mass produced agriculture foods don't contain the vitamins and minerals they're supposed to have that humans need. And a whole other issue is the fluoridated water and dangerous/poisonous pesticides they use. Now, the simple way to resolve this would be to grow your own food - Organic vegetables is the way to go. Or if you're lucky, you have access to locally grown organic food. Unfortunately, many of us don't have access to organic food. However, there is a way to remedy that problem and that is through supplementation, which I'll talk about in a bit.
So far, what I hope you got out of this is acne is not a skin issue, it's a internal issue. You could slather all the chemicals in the world on your face, but you will never *cure* your acne. Sure, you could hide the symptoms temporarily - But is that how you want to approach a disease? Would you want to hide the "check engine light" in a car by simply putting masking tape over it? Obviously not because the car will break down in the future. Essentially that's what acne is, a "check engine light" if you will: a warning that your body is breaking down. Acne is almost a good thing, because it is a very minor disease compared to the other major debilitating diseases that can/will follow if not treated properly.
The good news is our bodies are miraculous. When you get a cut, the body automatically knows what to do and heals that wound. The same is true for your entire body. The body is capable of healing itself. Once you feed the body the nutrients it needs, you will go from break down mode, to build up mode. The body is constantly breaking down, and building up. You want to be in the net positive of that scale. If you're suffering from any disease, you're in net break-down. If you're healthy and strong, you're in net build-up.
Now this brings me to supplementation. Being alive in the 21st century has its many down falls: Poisoned water, poisoned air, poisoned food.. just to name a few. But, we do have a few upsides: vitamin and mineral extraction. Since we aren't getting them in the food we eat, we have to get them somehow and supplementation gives us that opportunity. A lot of people already know to take their "daily" multivitamin. It's important to note however that 1 multivitamin is really like a drop of water in a bucket - nutritionally speaking. It's very beneficial if you're taking one, but the body needs to utilize vitamins/minerals throughout the day. With one multivitamin you get a spike of vitamins/minerals; the body, however, prefers a low steady amount. Also, you pee out the rest of the water soluble vitamins (such as the B vitamins and vitamin C) which need to be replenished.
A side note about the current medical model... If doctors and dermatologists really cared about you, they would ask you about your diet and life style. They are very quick at prescribing you a drug that will only make the problem much worse down the road. Drugs only mask the symptom. For example, if you go to the doctor's office for back pain, is he going to help you *cure* your back pain? Most likely not. You're just going to leave the building with a prescription in your hand for pain medication. Doctors and dermatologists are salesmen for the pharmaceutical company's. If you read into the history of the pharmaceutical industry, you will understand how they took control of the current medical system. They fund nearly all of the medical schools and these "doctors" are then only taught how to administer drugs, and not heal the body. It's a very evil conspiracy that causes hundreds of thousands of deaths yearly, where most of them can be prevented. I want to add that most doctors are well meaning, but unfortunately they are victims of propaganda. I AVOID the doctors office. I know that if I walk in there, I will walk out with a prescription that will harm me.
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease." - Thomas A. Edison
The ideal way of supplementing your vitamins/minerals is through liquid fashion. The body assimilates the nutrients much more readily. Powder multivitamin/mineral that you mix in liquid is the optimal form. The key is to drink in small doses throughout the day. This is how the body likes it the best; slow and steady all day (almost like a IV drip). Does this make sense to you? That each cell in our body continually need these micro/macro nutrients?
So now you know how important vitamins and minerals are. Next you need to know how important fats are. Yes, fats are very important; specifically the EFA's omega 3's and omega 6's. We know that cells needs vitamins and minerals to function; cells also need fats. EFA's act as a structural component of all the cell membranes and are vital for thousands of chemical reactions in our bodies.The reason they're called EFA's (Essential Fatty Acid's) is because we need them in our diet. Essential in the world of nutrition means it needs to be consumed: the body can't produce it on its own. Most people these days are deficient in EFA's: specifically Omega 3's. One way to know if you're deficient is if you have dry skin. EFA's is what hydrates the skin. No one should have dry skin! Which also leads me to say that moisturizers are a hoax; a scam. The skin moisturizing business is a huge business in and of itself. Ever wonder why you apply moisturizer constantly, yet you still have dry skin? It's because moisturizers only mask's the symptom! Sure you feel better temporarily because you coated your skin in oil/wax/whatever, but you will still have dry skin! No hocus pocus, potion lotion will solve an internal issue. EFA's are very important for your health: they play a significant role in our body's function.
If you're already supplementing with EFA's, you're ahead of the game. You should be making sure you're getting plenty of EFA's in your diet. The best way to get EFA's is from flaxseed oil. Flaxseed has the perfect amount of Omega 3's and 6's. I recommend Flaxseed oil in liquid bottles, or in gel capsules. A sufficient amount is 6-9 tablespoons; or 9-12 capsules. The amount needed depends on you - everyone is different. Experiment with different doses and see how you feel.
Last, but not least - Probiotics. Our guts have millions of different bacteria inside. Good bacteria and bad bacteria. Ideally, you want a healthy amount of the good bacteria in your gut so they can fight off the bad bacteria. The good bacteria is like your own little army, protecting your fortress. These good bacteria not only protect you from bad bacteria, but they also synthesize vitamins your body needs. Most people don't have proper flora ecology in their system. When bad bacteria takes control of your gut, huge implications occur such as yeast overgrowth, leaky gut syndrome, etc. It's extremely important to have a healthy digestive system. Healthy food such as vegetables and fruits promote healthy good bacteria, while junk food (high sugar, highly processed food) promotes bad bacteria (they love sugar).
I recommend to take a high quality pro-biotic. Don't skimp on quality. 80-100 billion units daily is a good place to be to re-balance your flora ecology. If you've taken antibiotics, this step is even more crucial for you. Being on antibiotics wipes out all of the bacteria in your gut: the good and the bad. For some, it can take months or even years to re-balance the flora ecology.
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So I hope you have a little bit of a better understanding of health. Now I'll recommend the brand I use.
The multimineral/vitamin I use is called Beyond Tangy Tangerine. Without a doubt, the best quality multi you can get out there, and for a great price. It's in powder form and has a ORAC value (antioxidant rating) of over 5700; whereas, most other brands are below 1000. It's also all naturally derived from 120 fruits and vegetables with no preservatives or fillers. Can be found here: https://youngevitysh...g.com/100900223
I recommend the "The Alex Pack." It has the Vitamin/Mineral supplement and EFA's. With this pack, all else you would need to get is Whey Protein, Zinc Picolinate, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. Or you can get the "Healthy Digestion Pack" that includes everything (EFA's, Multi-vitamin/mineral, probiotics, digestive enzymes) except Whey Protein and Zinc Picolinate, which is what I use.
If you can't get the whole package I recommend at least getting the Beyond Tangy Tangerine (Multivitamin/mineral).
No matter what brand you get, you're going to want to be getting all 90 essential vitamins and minerals.
Here's a list of the especially essential ones for acne sufferers:
80-100 billion units probiotics; multiple strains
50 mg zinc picolinate
20,000 IU vitamin a
3-5 grams vitamin c
400 mg NAC
9-12 EFA capsules
digestive enzymes with lipase
.5-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight
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So that's for supplementation, now let's get to the basics of a healthy diet. If you want to get clear, you have to eat healthy too. Eating healthy and supplementing work hand-in-hand, synergistically. You can't just supplement and eat junk food and expect clear skin (but if you are eating junk food, supplementing is even more vital). With that said:
Food I Consume/Avoid
Grains such as: Rice, Oatmeal, Bread, Cereal, Pasta, etc
Obvious things to avoid are drinks in high calories, such as sugary juices and sodas
Dangerous oils. Canola oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil are all highly refined oils that are bad for you. (Goods oils are Extra virgin olive oil and Coconut oil)
Starchy foods are also problematic like white potatoes and peas. (starch gets converted into sugar)
Avoid synthetically manufactured chemicals such as aspartame, MSG, and fluroide
Avoid Fast food places such as: McDisease's, Taco Hell, Kentucky Fried Cancer, etc...
What to consume: Vegetables, Vegetables, Vegetables! Ideally you should be eating veggies for breakfast, lunch. and dinner. Added with that is good sources of protein. Chicken, Fish, and Eggs, are all good sources of protein. (Once in a while I'll eat red meat).
Bone soup has incredible medicinal properties (google it to learn how to make it)
Salads are great
Organic *grass fed* butter is healthy
Cultured Vegetables is a really good way to get pre/probiotics. (google it to learn how to make it)
Nuts/seeds - Very good source of protein/ fats
Legumes - Good source of protein
Protein is very important. Most people are under proteinated. You should be getting at least .5 - 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (depending on your amount of physical activity). What everybody should be doing is taking protein powders. The best source of protein powder is 100% Whey protein (If you're one of the few that can't tolerate Whey protein, there are alternatives such as Hemp protein, Egg protein, etc). And if you're a guy and lifting weights like me, you should get 2-3 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Also, the cool part with being amply proteinated, your sugar cravings will diminish. When you crave sugar, it's because your brain is telling you you don't have enough protein. Whey protein can be considered a miracle source of protein. One of the highest quality sources of protein is considered to be eggs. In fact, the biological value of all protein is rated against eggs, eggs being considered the top score of 100; cow milk 91; beef 80; soy 74. Whey protein has an amazing score of 104! Whey Protein boosts your immune system and has the full spectrum of amino acids crucial for all cell function. Careful with the brand of Whey Protein you get though. Many are over-processed and contain many artificial ingredients that aren't good for you.
Whey Protein also is a excellent source of glutamine. Many acne sufferers have digestive track issues. Glutamine repairs the digestive lining. Whey Protein can be especially beneficial for people who have leaky gut syndrome. It bypasses digestion because it's liquid and goes straight to work nourishing your body.
I recommend "One World Whey." It's the best quality Whey Protein I can find. It's grass-fed, free range, and unpasteurized. Can be found here: http://www.sgn80.com/one-world-whey
A tip is to hack into your brain wiring. If you're craving any sort of grains/sugar, treat it as protein deficiency. If you're craving greasy fat foods, get your EFA's. In short:
Craving Grains/Sugar - Drink Protein
Craving Fatty foods - Get your EFA's
I find that if I drink a protein shake with some flaxseed oil and coconut oil, any cravings disappear almost immediately.
If you're taking the Beyond Tangy Tangerine multi-vitamin/mineral, you're getting a great amount of your B vitamins, Vitamin C, COQ-10, MSM, and a whole host of other essential nutrients you need. A few other VERY beneficial supplements to take are:
Zinc Picolinate: 50 mg (Must have for everyone, especially acne sufferers)
NAC: 1-2 grams
Glutamine: 1 gram
Now that you understand a good diet and supplementation, I'll add that I recommend to cleanse your face twice a day: in the morning and the evening with a natural face cleanser.Applying Benzoyl Peroxide (Dan's product is good) or Salicylic acid can speed up the healing process.
Retinoic Acid (vitamin A) is also very beneficial.
So I have been clear for 8 months now. I used to have moderate-severe acne and now my skin is as smooth as it was when I was 13 years old. I still have a few red blemishes from my old acne that's healing (gone now). But when I run my hand through my skin, I'm still amazed at how soft and smooth it is after all these years from having acne. I even feel great and healthy now. I know this may be a dramatic life style change for some people, but this is what it took for me to finally get rid of the awful skin disease known as acne. I wish you guys the best of luck.
Feel free to ask any questions.
I should also add a few more things that will help contribute to clearing your acne.
Exercise is very important. It helps moves your blood around and oxygenate your body. It also helps move around all the nutrients throughout your body. A little as 15 minutes of a hard work out, stressing out your body is all you need to maintain good health. Deep breathing is also important. At least for 1 minute(or longer! There's some neat apps on the iPhone) a day do deep inhaling and powerful exhaling: 7 seconds inhale, 7 seconds exhale. When inhaling breath with your stomach, pushing it out: When exhaling breath with your stomach going in. You will feel better doing this; it helps your adrenal glands. A clear state of mind without stress is vital too. Meditating, deep breathing, or yoga can all help achieve that.
When you wake up, do 1-2 minutes of jumping jacks to get the lymph system circulating. After sleeping for several hours, it gets sluggish. You'll also feel more energized. You can also get one of those mini trampolines called a "rebounder."
At least 8 glasses of water a day. It cleanses and detoxifies your body. Men should drink 3 liters(13 cups); Woman 2.2 liters(9 cups) for the best results. I have a 1 gallon jug so it's easy to know where I'm at.
Also, some people may have troubles absorbing the vitamins and EFA's (this is common, especially among older folks). I suggest everyone take digestive enzymes. These natural enzymes will help the body aborb EFA's.
Also, this whole regimen is not only about curing your acne, but your overall health too. Once you give the body what's it's supposed to be getting, you're really going to feel the difference of how a HEALTHY body should be. You'll find that you have a clearer mind, more energy, most diseases will be cured, and you will rarely get sick.
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Step-by-step list of what I do
(This is just one example of a meal I consume and varies greatly from day to day - It's just to give you an idea. I've turned into a class-A chef with lots of different recipes, since I've learned to cook for myself! Your girlfriend/boyfriend will love you )
Drink 2 glasses of water (or a green veggie juice). Sip on my Beyond Tangy Tangerine. Wait 15-20 min before eating food.
Soft boil/lightly scramble eggs. Lightly steam vegetables of choice: Season to taste (Salt and pepper), Coconut oil/Olive oil (coconut preferred), or grass-fed butter
Take digestive enzymes (with lipase), EFA's, and probiotic's
Sip on some more Beyond Tangy Tangerine throughout the day
Big Salad (and I mean big, LoL) with chicken/eggs/ whatever toppings you want. Some homemade salad dressing with Flaxseed oil (careful with commercial salad dressings that have bad, highly refined oils)
Take digestive enzymes, EFA's, probiotic's
Sip on some more Beyond Tangy Tangerine throughout the day
Protein Shake w/ tablespoon coconut oil, tablespoon flaxseed oil
Oven roasted Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon seasoned to taste with herbs and lemon juice. Lightly Steamed Vegetables of choice or a salad.
Digestive Enzymes, EFA's, Probiotic's
1 multivitamin, 50mg Zinc Picolinate
Sipping rest of Beyond Tangy Tangerine
Snack (right before bed)
Protein Shake w/ half scoop beyond tangy tangerine; tablespoon coconut oil; tablespoon flaxseed oil
(Taking protein before going to bed is VERY beneficial for your body. It helps with repair and growth. When you sleep, you're fasting for ~6-8 hours and this will give your system the building blocks to repair itself while you sleep)
P.S. With digestive enzymes, the best time to take them is right before eating or as you're eating. Also you can take some on an empty stomach and your body will utilize them for systemic processes which is very beneficial.
P.S.S You can also aid the digestion process by taking a couple swigs of Apple Cider Vinegar after a meal.
Edited by overfl00d, 10 April 2013 - 07:27 PM.